Crowded GOP Primaries in Swing States Could Benefit Democrats

Across the country, Republicans look like they could be well-positioned from a congressional map standpoint to capitalize and take back control of the U.S. Senate.

But, all of this opportunity has attracted a plethora of candidates, which has resulted in crowded ballots that could ultimately benefit Democrats come the general election in November.

Some campaign experts believe that liberals could be the ultimate benefactor of these crowded races, as Republican candidates must first fight with each other before turning their attention to their Democratic counterpart.

Jacob Neiheisel, who works at the State University of New York at Buffalo as a political science associate professor, commented:

“Campaign lore would suggest that any ‘divisive primary’ is going to advantage the other party at the polls in general.”

As Republican candidates try to win their primaries, in other words, they must point out flaws in their opponents. In doing so, they could cast doubt in voters’ minds about whether the eventual GOP winner of the primary is better than their Democratic counterpart when the real vote is taken in November to determine who represents them in the Senate.

In some of these swing states, such as Michigan and Nevada, there is a clear front-runner candidate, yet there are very crowded races there. Nevada will hold its Senate primaries on June 11, while Michigan’s won’t happen until August.

That doesn’t give the winning candidate a lot of time to reverse the script and shift the focus to their Democratic challenger. Any negative mentions of the candidate during the primary might still be fresh on voters’ minds.

These two states are very important to the future power of the Senate. Democrats control both seats right now, with incumbent Senator Jacky Rosen of Nevada running for re-election.

Republicans have a good shot in Michigan, as incumbent Senator Debbie Stabenow announced she is retiring at the end of her current term.

The Cook Political Report has labeled the Michigan election as “Lean Democratic,” while the race in Nevada is considered a “toss-up.”

Of Nevada’s primary election, Ron Bonjean, a strategist for the GOP, said:

“Trump’s expected endorsement is causing the Senate GOP to hold its breath. If he endorses [Jeff] Gunter over Brown and his popularity, it could very well give Senator Rosen and Democrats the upper hand at winning here.”

In that statement, Bonjean was referring to Gunter, who worked as the ambassador to Iceland in the Trump administration and is financing his own campaign against the front-runner in the GOP primary, Retired Army Captain Sam Brown.

In addition to Brown and Gunter, former state Representative Jim Marchant is running for the Senate seat in Nevada.

The Democrats are trying to fight back in that state, flinging some strong words about Rosen’s potential opponents. In a recent statement, Johanna Warshaw, a campaign spokesperson for Rosen, said:

“While her extreme MAGA opponents like Sam Brown have been forced to spend the past year fighting to prove who is most loyal to Donald Trump and embracing a far-right agenda, Jacky Rosen is focused on winning the general election and sharing her record as one of the most bipartisan and effective senators who delivers for Nevadans.”